"Khamis Salim and the 25 other youths in his group were having a busy day when
I first met him in November, at Tudor Creek along the coast of Kenya. Some were
busy transplanting mangroves in mudflats, while others were engaged in scouting
for illegal activities within the mangrove forest. Mangrove survival rates have
dwindled to an all-time low, forcing the group to adopt a method of
transplanting the trees in select rows 1.5 meters apart to keep them alive for
longer. The youths’ mission: reverse years of damage caused by climate change
to this vital tropical ecosystem.
Salim, 30, told The Daily Beast how important this mangrove species is to his
community. When he was growing up, he witnessed how the illegal extraction of
mangroves for construction, medicine, and charcoal burning ravaged his
community, killing off much of the marine wildlife that many locals rely on as
a source of food and income.
“People were cutting mangroves for construction and charcoal, not knowing how
bad they were affecting fishing, which was so important to us,” said Salim.
To save his community from devastation, Salim founded the Manyunyu Community
Organization, which has been restoring mangroves along along the Kenyan coast
since 2007. The group has planted over 10,000 mangrove seedlings. It’s run
entirely by young people, who have been thrust into the role of preventing the
continued degradation of the mangrove ecosystems while the government remains
absent. Every day, the group’s members wade through incredibly muddy thickets
to safeguard the remaining fragments of the mangrove ecosystem."
Via Frederick Wilson II.
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics